Paying for Home Improvements

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If you are concerned that paying for senior safety improvements is beyond your means, remember that help is available through…

Community Assistance Programs—Most communities and all states have programs to assist older persons with home maintenance, seasonal weatherization, and needed repairs. Some programs are free of charge, except for the cost of materials, while others charge on a sliding scale, ability-to-pay basis.

Home Repair Loans—Government housing agencies and nonprofit organizations offer loans for home repairs and accessibility renovations, such as ramps, grab bars, and accessible kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Loans may be interest-free, or at below-market interest. Contact your local Senior Information and Referral or Area Agency on Aging to learn about eligibility requirements and a list of sources available in your area.

Reverse Mortgages—A reverse mortgage is a loan against a senior’s house that allows them to convert part of their equity into cash. The loan is paid back when the homeowner sells the house, passes away, or moves out permanently. Reverse mortgages are another area where you need to have your guard up. Be sure to work with a reputable lender, consult with your financial advisor, and do your homework before making any commitments or signing any documents.

Source: Assisting Hands Home Care in association with IlluminAge. Copyright © IlluminAge, 2014.

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